As companies look for new IT talent to spread out a pandemic-increased IT workload, one area for potential employees is the people who are leaving the armed forces. The Microsoft Software and Systems Academy is an eight-year-old program that provides transitioning service members and veterans, including those with clearance, with training in tech skills to bolster their qualifications for employment in the tech sector.
Recently Microsoft announced that the entire program, which had shifted online over the past year due to COVID-19, will now remain a permanent virtual training program open to all eligible U.S. military service members and veterans across the United States, including those who live outside of the country.
Although the move to providing the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy training entirely virtually is not a surprise, the unexpected element of this news is that Microsoft will now fully fund the program for its participants. That means no cost to service members or veterans or the need to use their GI Bill benefits to cover the cost of the class.
According to Microsoft Vice President for Military Affairs Chris Cortez (USMC General, Ret.), there are almost 200,000 service members leaving the military this coming year and they are looking to enter the civilian workforce at their earliest opportunity.
Cortez also added that the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy has proven to be a very effective career step for transitioning military members: 95% of its graduates are either working full time in a technology position or have completed their college degree.
“Participants of the revamped, full-time, 16- to 17-week course will receive a solid foundation of technical training and career transition skills through practical, hands-on exercises, virtual labs and certification testing, delivered by leading education partners as well as mentors from Microsoft,” Cortrez said.
There are two main tracks for the course which attendees can select to focus their learning efforts – cloud application developer or cloud administrator. With organizations continuing to move through their own digital transformations and shifting into hybrid and full public cloud configurations, these areas of focus will provide valuable skills to those organizations.
Learn more about the program at the MSSA website.